Clark Media Productions

Clark Media Productions is a place for me to share my love of audio production, music, trombone, and music technology. Subscribe to my email list for late breaking blog posts, videos, and educational content!

Does YOUR engineer run a backup???

You have probably heard the old adage, “Two is one, one is none”. Or maybe another thing my mom used to say to me, “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

How does that apply to the recording arts? And what does it mean?

I have had the pleasure of getting to know, and learn from, some excellent engineers over the past few years. Backing up computer data, and audio files, is always on their minds. File management, and being able to FIND the audio you’ve recorded, and avoid unnecessary duplication of tracks is a large topic. For the engineers I’ve learned from, it all starts with the initial capture at the live concert or session. Both Christian Amonson and Mike Ducassoux have different systems, but they both serve the need to stave off any visit from Mr. Murphy very well.

So, after listening to these gentlemen for a good amount of time, I decided it would be prudent to incorporate some of their methods in to my own workflow. So, I took their advice and developed my own backup system.

A backup system is, simply, a 2nd recording that runs in parallel to the primary recording equipment. In my case, my microphones run into both my laptop, as well as a Zoom 8-channel SD recorder. Why does this matter? Well, in case of catastrophic laptop failure, the Zoom captures the source audio, even if my laptop is turned off completely.

So, when you book an engineer to record your concert, ask them, “do you have backup”? If their answer is “no”, give me a call! ;)

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American Conical Ensemble records James Curnow

There’s a new brass group on the block! This summer, at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky, a new “super group” of brass musicians took the stage. Trumpeters Chris Martin (New York Philharmonic), Mark Ridenour (Chicago Symphony), and Matthew Harding (U.S. Marine Band), were joined by alto horn virtuoso Nathan Miller (Asbury University), Hiram Diaz (U.S. Marine Band) on euphonium, and Christopher Tiedeman (U.S Marine Band) on tuba.

Long time brass band supporter and world renowned composer and arranger, James Curnow, arranged a new piece for this virtuoso ensemble, which they premiered at GABBF. The group returned from Kentucky and really wanted a chance to record Jim’s wonderful arrangement of Appalachian fiddle music.

This recording features Amy McCabe and Anthony Bellino on trumpet (both members of the U.S. Marine Band), as well as Matthew Harding on piccolo trumpet, Nathan Miller, Hiram Diaz, and Chris Tiedeman.

Posaune Decuple, Trombone "super group", Performs near Philadelphia

I had a wonderful experience this past April. Wonderful in many ways, not the least of which was a chance to honor my former teacher and former Principal Trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the late Glenn Dodson. While Glenn was alive, he nurtured a passion for trombone choir music among his students and colleagues. Glenn spearheaded the ensemble Posaune Decuple. The choir consisted mostly of Glenn’s former students at the Curtis Institute, but was also honored to have colleagues and friends perform on many occasions. Since Glenn’s passing, the group has endeavored to keep performing, even if they are only able to gather once per year or so. Joseph Alessi, Blair Bollinger, and Darrin Milling have been stalwart supporters, organizers, and performers for many years with the ensemble, and they are continuing the hard work of organizing concerts and coordinating the schedules of so many busy performers. I was fortunate to be invited to play this year, and due to an abundance of players (and having some pieces off on the concert), I asked if I could record audio and video for this year’s concert. I’d like to share the first video I’ve put together of the concert. There was so much fantastic playing, it was hard to choose what to showcase! I hope you enjoy!

Posaune Decuple 2018 Roster:

Tenor Trombones:

Joseph Alessi - Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic

Eric Carlson - Second Trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra

Chris Clark - "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band

David Finlayson - Second Trombone, New York Philharmonic

Nitzan Haroz - Principal Trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra

Mark Lawrence - former Principal Trombone, The San Francisco Symphony, currently faculty at The Colburn School

Carl Lenthe - former Principal Trombone, Bamberg (Germany) Symphony Orchestra, currently faculty at Indiana University

Jim Nova - Second Trombone, Pittsburgh Symphony

Matt Vaughn - Co-principal Trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra

Colin Williams - Associate Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic

Bass Trombones:

Blair Bollinger - Bass Trombone, Philadelphia Orchestra

George Curran - Bass Trombone, New York Philharmonic

Darrin Milling - Bass Trombone Principal, São Paolo State Symphony

Music by:

Anthony DiLorenzo

G.F. Handel/arr. Carlson

Steven Verhelst

John Williams/arr. Glenn Dodson

Audio/Video recording: Clark Media Productions

Photography: Steven Osborne, Matthew Lynch, Chris Clark

New Youtube Series!

Hi everyone!  I wanted to tell you about another Clark Media production that is now available to the public!  My fantastic euphonium colleague, Hiram Diaz, came to me in the spring with a great idea to make a new series of videos.  Hiram, like many euphonium and trombone players, has been playing the 20 Counterparts duet series written by Tom Ervin, for many years.  These are duets written to accompany the Bordogni/Rochut etudes that so many of us incorporate in to our daily practice.  The videos include Hiram performing the duet part - the player utilizing the video provides the Bordogni etude.  Hiram also has some excellent comments at the beginning of each video encompassing his performance practice and musical ideas about the piece.  To purchase the original sheet music book, Counterparts, go to Tom Ervin's official website.  

Another George Hamilton Green rag arranged by the amazing Jonathan Bisesi!

Hi friends,

Whew!!! Summer is in full swing, and you know what that means?!?!?!?!  THE KIDS ARE OUT OF SCHOOL!!!  Seriously, what it means around the Clark household is a lot of fun pool and beach time, and a lot of bike rides as well.  The boys are getting older and able to ride longer and/or on their own, so we are having super fun just biking everywhere we have the chance.  Combine that with some recent bike commuting for me, beach rides, and even recharging some bike mechanic skills, and the summer is just ROLLING.  Love it.

One other thing I've done is to complete a few projects that were begun in the spring.  One of my favorites of this year was the brass quintet and xylophone arrangements my good friend and Marine Band colleague, Jon Bisesi.  We recorded four of his arrangements in the spring, and you can hear Jovial Jasper over on Youtube.  I'm going to introduce another one here below, Chromatic Fox Trot.  

For my audio folks out there, if you haven't ever recorded solo xylophone, I highly recommend it! It is a challenge, due to the nature of the instrument (think snare-like transients, but pitched and moving in the stereo field like marimba, or even piano.   Separating that from the brass players, and allowing them to both see and hear each other enough to play as one ensemble, is quite challenging.  I had some help from my good friend, Will Samson, and I think the final recording turned out great.  

Jon is a master of the xylophone, and his improvisations over these rags in this particular style are so natural and fun to listen to.  Thanks for reading, and thanks for listening!

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